Interview: Alyssa Silveir
Photos: Asmaa Belhaouari
Tell us about what Bonfire of the Vanities is and what it means to you.
BOV is a brand I started in January. The first pieces we had started off as samples and limited editions, and started stirring up conversation. I wanted to make each piece a bit controversial, or have a message behind it.
I want the brand to be a revolt against our modern-day society. The style and aesthetic is representative of my work as an artist, with deeper meaning. I am putting myself forward, expressing ideas gathered in my youth, along with my very own aesthetic through clothes that I think anyone can wear.
What is the message behind the brand?
In 1497, supporters of the Dominican friar Girolamo Savonarola collected and publicly burned thousands of objects in Florence, Italy. The purpose of this destruction was to destroy objects that might tempt sin, including vanity items such as mirrors, cosmetics, fine dresses, playing cards, and even musical instruments. Other targets included books that were deemed to be immoral, such as works by Boccaccio, and manuscripts of secular songs, as well as art, including paintings and sculptures.
I see BOV as the modern-day version of this event.
“Bonfire Of The Vanities” is expressing the revolt of our generations obsession with oneself. It’s a commentary on how we use social media, or indulge in pop culture. I think social media can be detrimental to personal growth, especially when you are young and impressionable.
Are there any pieces in Bonfire of the Vanities that stand out to you?
I really like our “Blow Up” tee representing Donald Trump. “Be Constructive not Destructive”. It speaks for itself, but would get people thinking, whether they are wearing it or see someone who is wearing it.
*The piece is set to be be released in June
How do you keep your art authentic with social media?
I might appear for a while then disappear. There is no consistency. The authenticity comes from a valued appreciation of time. and Honestly sometimes I even forget to post haha.
What is your opinion of social media?
Social Media is modern crack. Everyone is hooked on it and it has people’s minds on lock down. The only way is to step away from these illusions and live in the real world. See things clearly. Social media and popular media bend perceptions of reality and deter individualistic growth.
You express yourself through a few mediums, art, clothes, photography, video, etc. What is the main message you want people to walk away with?
Do whatever you want to do and don’t let anyone get in your way. Enjoy life, but don’t take anything seriously unless it is finances, family, your ART or love. Create with your friends and create from the heart.
Don’t let your anxieties or prejudices get in the way of what you want to achieve.
How do you stay motivated to create original content?
You have to get out of your comfort zone and look for art in less obvious places. Look to a world of books, history, paintings, and you start to see all of these alternate worlds. You can create a realm for yourself where prejudice and vanity are absent from beauty.
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